Building Mutual Trust

HAVING a dove nesting in the hanging fern on our patio posed some problems! We thought at first that the dove's choice for a home in which to rear her offspring was a poor one. Not only did our daily activities bring us within inches of the nest but we had to water the plant often and even move it from one side of the patio to the other when we painted. Still, we hoped for the best. The mother dove couldn't have been more cooperative. Despite these intrusions upon her privacy, she remained completely serene and undisturbed. She made no attempt to flee or to attack us to protect her young, even when we put the garden hose into the fern for watering or carried the hanging plant from one place to another. It may be that it was her peaceful nature that kept her so calm. But we did try to be gentle and unthreatening in our actions. Eventually we came to believe that the dove actually trusted us.

I thought later, ``Wouldn't it be great if we all could trust one another the way this peaceful dove trusted us.'' I realized then that we can begin to do this if we will place our trust first in the divine rather than in the human. This is where the Psalmist begins. He asserts: ``In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.''

Christian Science teaches that God is infinite good and that we are safer and less fearful when we believe less in the reality of a power or presence apart from good. God's ever-present love, which truly envelops each one of us, includes care and protection. The dove's tender care for her offspring reminded me of God's unfailing and constant care for His spiritual creation.

Developing more trust in God, Spirit, inevitably brings greater trust in our fellowman. Because God's love is reflected in the true, spiritual selfhood of man, each of us is, in reality, His witness, or expression. He has created man in His image, ever trustworthy, honest, dependable, and this is our true, spiritual identity. As we prayerfully hold to the truth that we all have one Mind, or source -- our heavenly Father-Mother -- we can feel closer to our fellowman and trust him more.

When we relate to others from this spiritual standpoint, our kindness and consideration will tell them that they, too, can trust us. Such unselfish love doesn't produce naivet. It doesn't set us up to get knocked over, making us vulnerable to deception or disappointment. It builds mutual confidence. It renders us more receptive to God's guidance so that we'll know when and how to trust.

A blind trust in everyone is not wise. But we can look for and trust good -- and know that we can look to Christ, the true idea of God, to help us discern when and whom to trust. Seeing others as God created them -- spiritual and perfect -- we can expect to find increasing good in our relations with others.

Trusting God and the good in our fellowman puts no limits on our progress. It removes limitations and makes each day a better and safer one. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, affirms in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings.''

My wife and I had let the dove know that she could trust us. She responded with her trust, and her uninvited and extended stay in our hanging fern was harmonious instead of troublesome. It helped us to realize that trust is an important part of everyday life.

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